“THE GREATEST REPRESENTATIVE OF CLASSICAL POLITICAL ECONOMY”: THE WORKS OF DAVID RICARDO, 1846, COLLECTED BY ECONOMIST J.R. MCCULLOCH
RICARDO, David. The Works of David Ricardo, Esq., MP. With A Notice of the Life and Writings of the Author by J.R. McCulloch, Esq. London: John Murray, 1846. Octavo, original blind-stamped russet cloth, uncut and largely unopened. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $4800.
First edition of Ricardo’s collected Works to include a memoir by his follower, John Ramsey McCulloch, who is also noted for key contributions to economic theory, featuring Ricardo’s famous Principles of Political Economy.
David Ricardo, renowned for his Principles of Political Economy (1817), "was, in a sense, the first 'scientific' economist… [His work] has proved of lasting value" (PMM 277). He "succeeded even more than Adam Smith in isolating the chief categories of the economic system… Ricardo is without doubt the greatest representative of classical political economy. He carried the work begun by Smith to the farthest point possible" in his "theory of value and distribution… In the opinion of his own contemporaries at home and abroad, Ricardo was acknowledge the leader of the science." This edition of his Works shows Ricardo "to have been, on the whole, a faithful supporter of the prevailing theory of the market." As printings of Ricardo's writings grew difficult to procure by the mid-19th century, McCulloch, one of the economist's greatest followers and noted for his defense of "the Ricardian theory of value," assembled this edition, the first to include McCulloch's valued biography of the famed economist (Roll, 155-75). McCulloch's memoir of Ricardo was published independently in 1825 under the title Memoir of the Life and Writings of David Ricardo. With 16-pages of publisher's advertisements at rear dated January 1846. Lowndes, 2081. CBEL III:980. Goldsmith II:34533; 24415. Kress C.6944. Early armorial bookplate of 19th-century scientist and philanthropist T.J. Phillips-Jodrell, founder of the Kew Gardens Jodrell Laboratory. Bookplate, deaccession inkstamp of Girton College of the University of Cambridge. Bookseller tickets.
Text generally fresh with light scattered foxing; mild edge-wear, light expert restoration to original cloth. An excellent copy.